Female chefs are being asked to sign up to a ‘Women of Food' list as efforts to raise the profile of women in the hospitality industry continue.
The request comes as research reveals that women perceive achieving a work-life balance to be the industry's biggest issue.
Co-founder of the Women of Food list, journalist Sudi Pigott explained that she hopes it will help raise the profile of the work being done by women, while acting as a research tool for media and the industry.
She said: "It's something we're debating back and forth, but there are a lot more female chefs than everyone realises.
"People quote the same women all the time; we know there are a lot more and we want them to be more visible and have more recognition so hopefully they'll get more business, a higher profile and encourage more people to come into the industry."
The group is asking female head chefs or chef-proprietors to submit their names to the list, which will be published online as a free-to-use resource.
Those whose names have already been submitted include Samira Effa, head chef of Alimentum, in Cambridge; Rachel Karasik, head chef of The Good Egg, in Soho, London; Sarit Packer of Honey & Co in Fitzrovia, London; Lisa Allen of Northcote, in Langho, Lancashire; Anne-Sophie Pic of Maison Pic, France and La Dame de Pic London, and Elena Arzak of Ametsa with Arzak Instruction, at COMO The Halkin in London's Belgravia.
Despite the fact that there is a wealth of female talent in the industry, Pigott believes more needs to be done to recruit women into high-profile positions as well as to encourage more women to enter the spotlight, be it through competitions or media opportunities.
She also suggested that they could also help develop mentoring opportunities, a key means of increasing female representatives sighted within research conducted by Tracey Fairclough.
Fairclough, a director of Turpin Smale Catering Consultants, surveyed 100 women in the industry in both 2017 and 2018 to ask what they saw as strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
In both years achieving a work-life balance was seen to be the biggest issue in the workplace for women across seniority levels, followed by having children while building a career. Business owners considered both these issues to be of equal importance, while those at management level felt equal pay was as much of an issue as having children while building a career.
Those asked said that having a mentor was the biggest factor in carving out a successful career.
Nominate yourself or others for the Women of Food list at: https://womenoffood.com